Opinions: Hindsight: Where is civility

Please and thank you


This picture with my family Michael Hinds (9), me, and my cousin Rachel Carlino was taken on Black Friday, Nov. 29, a day where civility is thrown right out the window. Our Target experience that day included a mob plowing over each other to grab a deal on a TV and a mile-long line for milk and chocolate.

When I was little, civility was something I knew of and practiced. I was always told to “be polite, and use your manners.” “Please” and “thank you” started and ended every request I made. 

Sadly, I’m realizing that not everyone was raised that way. Either that or they’ve forgotten what civility is all together and civility is what keeps us a functioning society. It is social glue.

At the movie theatre the other day, I was looking for seats for my friend and I. We found a row and walked to two empty seats. There was a woman sitting in the row behind us.

When we went to sit down the woman nearly shouts at us, “You can’t sit there.” I asked her if the seats were taken and she replied with a harsh “no.” Then I asked her why we couldn’t sit there and she replied with “I won’t be able to see over  your heads.”


Okay first off, the movie theatre is a place where anyone can sit where they want. I paid to see this movie, so I will sit where I please (except for seating for the disabled because I am civil).

Also, our heads aren’t so big that she won’t see the screen the size of a double-decker school bus in front of her. This woman was just entirely rude.

The way this woman talked to my friend and I was uncalled for. There could’ve been a much more polite way to say, “Could you please not sit there, I won’t be able to see that well with people in front of me.” I probably would’ve said, “Oh, okay ma’am, no problem.”

Maybe the holiday season is making me more aware of the people around me.

Everyone is supposed to be loving and generous and kind to one another. Christmas is supposed to be about sharing time and love with your family. But that’s not how people act.

Let’s just take a moment to think about what could be anyone’s recent shopping experience. Say there’s a woman pushing her cart down an aisle and another person is somewhat blocking the way with their cart. The woman will say, “Could you move your cart?” in a sharp “get out of my way” tone.

An “excuse me” could’ve worked nicely and left me to enjoy my shopping rather than being stuck on her rudeness for the remainder of my time in the store.

I get it. The stress of the holiday season puts a lot of people in an overwhelmed state: they have to buy gifts, put up decorations and put up the Christmas tree, etc.

All of these efforts makes a person really exhausted and causes their politeness to just fly out the window.

I don’t want to live in a society where it is perfectly okay to be rude and mean to one another. I value what’s left of civility, and I want to live in a world where we are nice to each other. I was raised to be a civil, young adult for a reason. A simple “please” or “I’m sorry” can fix almost any situation.

Without those few words, a greeting would sound something like, “Ew, you’re ugly, but what’s your name?”